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Comedy Stand-up Comedy Women in Comedy

Good Island Gyal — A Caribbean Comedy Special by Onicia Muller

Caribbean comedian Onicia Muller jokes about surviving death and getting revenge on her crappy OBGYN who failed to diagnose her preeclampsia. Now she’s a good island gyal gone bad.

Shoutout to Paul Schissler (The Baddest B*tch) and Niles Abston (Household Name) whose comedy specials inspired me to produce and share #GoodIslandGyal.

Being funny on command requires proper nutrition. Please buy me ice cream. As thanks for the nutrition, I’ll happily send you my birth story video.

For bookings contact Nick Youmans bookings[at]oniciamuller[dot]com.

Filmed at The Rusty Rocket on Sint Maarten in front of a live audience.

For ELIZABETH, SHATORIA, IAH, and all the good island gyals.

ONICIA MULLER: GOOD ISLAND GYAL (2023)

Written and performed by
ONICIA MULLER

Executive produced by
REMIGIO TORRES
SHUDIKE TORRES
ONICIA MULLER

Promotional graphics by
SHAWN YORK
ONICIA MULLER

Cameras and audio
KAREEM ROMBLEY
HERBIE-JUNIOR MARLIN

Special thanks to
KAREEM ROMBLEY
ESDRA RICHARDSON + RUSTY ROCKET
SUPPA KID + LASER 101
EUNICE JARRETT
LISA EBEL
AMY SUMPTER
RACHAEL KAY ALBERS
KELSIE HUFF

lil fizz butthole - onicia mullewr - homorrhoidectomy
Categories
Comedy Fangirlin' Sketches Women in Comedy

Crafting Jokes with Comedian Kenzie Rowland

The lovely Kenzie Rowland joined me for some YouTube shenanigans where we expressed our love for our favorite female comedians. In the first episode of something I’m tentatively calling Crafting Jokes, we celebrate Lucille Balle and Kellye Howard.

If you don’t know, Kenzie Rowland is a comedic actress and podcaster based in Chicago. Her WhoHaHa.com podcast Therapy Would Be Cheaper is now in its third season. AMAZING ACCOMPLISHMENT.

I had so much fun crafting and joking with Kenzie.

Follow Kenzie Rowland on Instagram @kenzierowland

Check out Kenzie’s podcast Therapy Would Be Cheaper.

Categories
Fangirlin' News

Interview with Caribbean Screenwriter Diane De La Haye

Caribbean filmmakers, Diane De La Haye and Peter Sagnia created a comedy film titled Fab 4 and the Silent Retreat. To celebrate the project–which had a screening at Caribbean Cinemas on St. Maarten, I spoke with Diane. So, if you’re a screenwriter or interested in Caribbean films, click the YouTube video below. Diane and I discuss the writing and producing process. We also watch the amazing trailer for Fab 4 and the Silent Retreat.

About Caribbean screenwriter, Diane De La Haye

Diane De La Haye is a Jamaican-Canadian screenwriter and story editor. She studied scriptwriting at Vancouver Film School. Diane is a Partner and Instructor at Media Business Institute and MBI Productions in Toronto where she’s worked on film projects such as Shalom Jamaica, Of Cod and Rum, and Rasta: a Soul’s Journey.

https://www.twitter.com/dianedelahaye
https://www.mediabusinessinstitute.com/mbi-productions
delahaye[at]mediabusinessinstitute[dot]com

Fab 4 and the Silent Retreat

Faced with a myriad of issues as they approach 40, a group of loud, feisty Caribbean friends travel to Nepal for a Silent Retreat.

‘Fab 4’ was written by Diane de la Haye and directed by Peter Sagnia. The super funny comedic short film was shot on St Maarten and stars Rita Gumbs, Shama Flurton, Clarisse Glasgow and Kedisha Vidal.

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Fangirlin' News Onicia Updates Women in Comedy

NEW Scams, Swindles, and Schemes + ‘Fab 4’ movie premier—Onicia Update

Hey Friends,

Another week, another scam.
NEW Scams, Swindles, and Schemes

I got an ad for Suvie, a countertop kitchen robot. It’s a 2 – part system. The Veggie and meat maker is $399 and the pasta/coffee maker is $399. BIG BOOTY BUTTCHEEKS–there’s a catch– you can only get that price if you buy into the meal subscription service. FULL EPISODE

Or share this Suvie ‘first impressions’ clip.

Last day to support Podca$h

Devin and I applied for a grant(?) from Podca$h. Help increase our chances by sending Podca$h a ‘love letter’ about #Scamsss. Deadline March 4. Don’t know what to say? Copy this handy message:

“Hey Podca$h, I need my weekly dose of #Scamsss. Give Devin and Onicia some money…and maybe also your social security number.”

https://www.podcash.com/love-letters/p2D36

Funny Forward: Fab 4 and the Silent Retreat

Faced with a myriad of issues as they approach 40, a group of loud, feisty Caribbean friends travel to Nepal for a Silent Retreat. MORE DETAILS

Categories
Fangirlin' News

‘Fab 4 and the Silent Retreat’ movie premier

Hey Friends,

How you been? Today I’m celebrating my nephew’s birthday. He’s so tall and beautiful and smart!

Speaking of things to celebrate. Congratulations to Diane de la Haye and Peter Sagnia on the premiere of their film Fab 4 and the Silent Retreat. They will be holding a screening on March 8 at Caribbean Cinemas on St. Maarten.

Diane and Peter are collaborators on The Wonderful Counsellor. Fab 4 was written by Diane and directed by Peter. The super funny comedic short film was shot on St Maarten and stars Rita Gumbs, Shama Flurton, Clarisse Glasgow and Kedisha Vidal.

Fab 4 and the Silent Retreat

Faced with a myriad of issues as they approach 40, a group of loud, feisty Caribbean friends travel to Nepal for a Silent Retreat.

Fab 4 and the Silent Retreat is loosely based on a group of actual friends from Jamaica, all born in December, who meet up somewhere in the world to celebrate milestone birthdays and experience a memorable adventure.

I’m grateful to have met Peter through Onicia, thrilled at his brilliant execution of the project and touched by how well the talented actresses in St. Maarten brought my words to life.” — Diane de la Haye.

Diane de la Haye - Jamaican screenwriter
Diane de la Haye, Fab 4 and the Silent Retreat sreenwriter


A sketchy dinner date with a broke sugar daddy—Just Being Funny

Whoring ain’t easy. Mess around with the wrong stranger, and we’d end up like that girl in Taken. And ain’t nobody looking for two broke black girls who were last seen in a hostel. KEEP READING

Big Man Dan: Heartbreak Happens

TBT to Kafi Kareem’s (@KafiKareem) super hilarious animated web series Big Man Dan.

In May 2018, reports of a shootout between two police officers shocked the nation of Trinidad & Tobago. In “Heartbreak Happens,” Dan of Story Play TV’s Big Man Dan re-imagines how he would have handled the heartbreak that led two officers to open fire on each other.
Heartbreak Happens – #BigManTing PSA 1

Black-owned funny greeting cards

Let the Black people in your life know you care. Send them a funny greeting card. [JOIN MAILING LIST] for 30% off all orders over $20.

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Fangirlin' Hey Onicia

Top Streaming Platforms for Caribbean Films

As a Caribbean screenwriter (I got an M.F.A. from Northwestern, y’all), I’m always looking for more films by Caribbean and African filmmakers. Sure, Netflix offers a handful of gems within their ‘international’ catalog, but landing a Netflix deal isn’t accessible for the vast majority of Afro-Caribbean filmmakers. Honestly, mainstream distribution is not possible for most films.

Anyways, I finally dropped some coin to see what some of these Caribbean-focused streaming platforms have to offer.

Caribbean streaming services comparison table. Caribbeantales TV, kweliTV, Demand Africa, Anansi Studio. Onicia Muller.

Caribbeantales

Caribbeantales TV is a streaming service for films by filmmakers who come from the Caribbean diaspora. Its catalog includes movies, series, and short films. Their streaming service also offers live streaming of Caribbean-focused events.

Caribbeantales TV review - Onicia Muller

First Impressions of Caribbeantales

Caribbeantales has a decent mix of content. The platform offers a 7-day free trial and the ability to review their entire catalog before registering. You can plan what to watch during the trial. While the video categories are clear, Caribbeantales lacks legible and captivating thumbnail designs, which may influence whether you scroll past a new title or choose to save to your list and watch later.

The Caribbeantales streaming platform is powered by Uscreen. This technology offers a fast player and an easy-to-navigate cataloging system for video content. The Uscreen player has a more detailed search function than Netflix. You can filter by category, author, country, and genre. Unlike Netflix, when you search for a film that’s not in their catalog, the platform doesn’t suggest alternatives.

kweliTV

kweliTV’s mission is to celebrate Black stories from around the world. Their catalog includes films, documentaries, web series, kids programming, news, and events/live experiences. kweliLive is a free, ad-supported channel that you can watch using kweliTV’s apps, tv devices, and mobile devices. It’s not available on the desktop. Ninety-eight percent of its films have been official selections at film festivals. Sixty percent of its revenue is paid to content creators every quarter. kweliTV was named in the top 16 best streaming services of 2020.

kweliTV review by Onicia Muller

First Impressions of kweliTV’s

Like Caribbeantales, kweliTV is powered by Uscreen. The platform offers many of the same features. As viewing goes, for an undisturbed experience, you have to go full screen. An alternative is picture-in-picture mode. When picture-in-picture is activated, the player opens in a resizable window to the screen’s bottom right corner. This allows users to use other programs while watching shows.

While the Uscreen player allows you to create lists/add to favorites, the biggest drawback is the inability to remember where you stopped watching. The player also doesn’t offer closed captions. Those who are hard of hearing or unfamiliar with Caribbean accents and dialects might have trouble. Viewers can leave comments on the films.

Different from Caribbeantales, kweliTV offers a French translation and a customer support chat. In kweli’s catalog overview, you can easily see the video’s title, length, and country.

CaribFlixTV

CaribFlixTV is a Jamaica-based streaming service offering Caribbean and Afro-Latino movies. Users can watch CaribFlixTV on their computers and smartphones. The mobile app is available on Google Play and Amazon Market.

Caribflix TV rewview by Onicia Muller

First Impressions of CaribFlixTV

CaribFlixTV has a catalog of about 100 Caribbean films and TV shows. However, it does not offer a free trial or the ability to review its catalog beforehand. While the CaribFlixTV platform allows users to rate content and translate the page into 58 languages, the player does not retain your last viewed position. CaribFlixTV hosts a mix of Vimeo and YouTube videos. The videos hosted on Vimeo offer picture-in-picture. The others hosted on YouTube use the regular YouTube player. The monthly subscription fee is more of a curation fee since much of the catalog—especially those hosted on YouTube—are available for free on the internet.

Demand Africa

Demand Africa offers 24-7 access to a large collection of Pan-African TV shows, series, soaps, movies, and lifestyle entertainment. Demand Africa’s catalog covers Nollywood and the diaspora. Demand Africa is available on the web, smartphones, tablets, and smart TV’s. The mobile app is downloadable via the Apple store, Google Play, Amazon Market, and Roku.

demand africa review by onicia muller

First Impressions of Demand Africa

Without registering, Demand Africa allows prospective subscribers to review its entire catalog. The interface is very appealing; the thumbnails and titles are uniformed. They offer on-demand and live streaming. The player allows adding videos to lists and picture-in-picture mode. If a searched title is not available, the platform recommends alternatives. It also offers recommendations when you select a show if you want to watch more of a certain type of content. Unfortunately, this player also does not retain your last viewed position. While the kids’ section only included six titles, the general movie tab had 159 titles. This platform does not offer closed captions, but some of the films featured English subtitles.

Studio Anansi

Studio Anansi is a video-on-demand platform supported by the Caribbean Film Academy (CAFA). Studio Anansi’s catalog includes films from the Caribbean and its diaspora. The platform promises new releases every other Tuesday. Studio Anansi’s mission is to celebrate the work of emerging Caribbean filmmakers.

studio anansi review by onicia muller

First Impressions of Studio Anansi

Unlike the other streaming platforms, Studio Anansi is not a monthly subscription service. Instead, the videos hosted on Studio Anansi are available for 3-day rental or purchase. Some of the films are free. Without creating a profile, prospective users can review the entire catalog. Studio Anansi’s collection is easy to search and navigate. While not uniform, the platform does have appealing thumbnails, and the catalog overview includes a short description. Powered by Vimeo OTT, the player allows picture-in-picture and high-quality playback.

Remember, these platforms aren’t competing with Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, or Netflix. These streaming services are dedicated to African and Caribbean content creators. If we want to see them expand their catalog and upgrade their players, we need to invest by getting a subscription or two.

Categories
Fangirlin' Women In Film

Go on and take my Black card, ‘Waiting to Exhale’ sucked!

waiting to exhale film review | onicia muller comedy chicago

I finally watched Waiting to Exhale. Controversial thoughts in 3…2…1…That film was some Tyler Perry-levels of overly dramatic and corny shenanigans. Forest, I didn’t know you had it in you.

Everything Angela Bassette’s character did would land you court-ordered domestic violence classes and probably even lose your kids — the very thing she was fighting for.

I bet Wesley Snipes ain’t even had no white wife with cancer. His entire back story was some master-level pickup artist ish.

If Angela Bassette was so good at business, why she didn’t sell her house, downsize and start her own venture? Since she helped to create such a successful company, she could do like rich white kids and “bootstrap.” Beloved, the boots already strapped; just leverage your network, net worth, and other resources.


Lela Rochon was sleeping with 3 men at the same time and still managed to get dickmatized??? That’s the opposite of what’s supposed to happen!

After watching Waiting to Exhale, searched “Whitney Houston crack timeline”. Thanks, MTV. 🙁 I wonder if they gave Whitney that dialog as a way to drop some hints. The movie was so bad that I’m not reading to book to find out.

Are moms really out here telling their children to date married people who won’t leave their spouses? With such scallywag life advice, it’s no wonder Whitney Houston’s character’s mom only had $67 in her bank account. Foolish. #WaitingToExhale.

I no complaints about Loretta Devine’s character — except her man wasn’t cute and general homophobic attitude. Considering the lack of character all the cute dudes had, I’ll take a homely handyman any day. #WaitingToExhale

I can’t believe I waited almost 25 years to watch Waiting to Exhale — is this the iconic film that had so many black women empowered and ready to leave their ain’t ish men??? Well, the film is trash, but the tunes still slam.

It took me until 2020 to watch Waiting to Exhale because all I remember was my mother telling me that I’m too young for such subject matter. Somehow even at 13+ I told myself that I was too young. Woosh, talk about being obedient.

Did y’all know that Forest Whitaker directed Waiting to Exhale? Yup, The Last King of Scottland was serving cinematic Tyler Perry realness before Tyler Perry was real. Perry probably saw how y’all supported the film and said “I can do that”

So yeah, give me my Black card for finally watching Waiting to Exhale. Now revoke it because I hate it.

Categories
Fangirlin' Women In Film

‘The Haven’ using Web Series to Launch Chicago TV Pilot – Women in Film

The Haven written by Mia McCullough. Tasha Crystal
The Haven written by Mia McCullough features Sage Lorinne Miskel as Tasha (daughter) and Alex Dauphin as Crystal (mother)

What do you do when you have an original TV pilot that explores a world and characters different from traditional Hollywood scripts? You do like Mia McCullough and Elizabeth Laidlaw and create a web series!

THE HAVEN is a web series covering an extensive period in the lives of the clients and staff of a domestic violence center. The staff forms the main cast. The clients are secondary characters. 

Web series is a great storytelling tool for exploring characters and worlds. Compared to a TV show, these short format made-for-the-web productions often require fewer resources to produce. These scripts, which are usually under 30 minutes/pages, allow screenwriters to tell stories by and about underrepresented communities. Best of all, the finished content is immediately available to that community — #RepresentationMatters. 

Mia and co-producer Elizabeth Laidlaw knew that if developed and produced in the traditional Hollywood/LA-focused system, the project would likely evolve into something totally different from the original pilot. More importantly, the creative duo was unlikely to realize their dream of making an hour-long drama that’s shot and written in Chicago.

All sorts of insane things happen at this fictional center for victims of abuse. The web dramedy (drama + comedy) covers domestic violence, drug abuse, and — depending on who you ask — supernatural beings. 
Mia worked for a domestic crisis line on and off for 15 years. She’s learned that some victims don’t realize that they can leave until they see it on TV. 



In an interview for WDSE WRPT, Mia told Cathy Wurzer, “…There’s just not enough modeling happening on television for women. They can see women getting beaten up, but they can’t see people moving on with their lives and what that looks like.”

Screenwriter Mia McCullough makes heavy subject matters more palatable by adding dark humor into the mix.

Stories about such a world aren’t typical. Usually, domestic violence is presented in a sort of “tragedy porn.” Mia was very adamant about not creating “domestic violence porn”. The shown scenes happen after the violence occurs. The Haven is not depressing or man-hating. Lots of people – not just female romantic partners – experience domestic abuse. 
In an episode of The Plot podcast hosted by Sean Douglass, Elizabeth explained that “There have been a number of television shows are shot here in Chicago. But, for the most part, they are not really chicago productions in any sense. … Most of the series regulars, all of the guests, casts, and a lot of the recurring are cast out of town, — the small parts are left to the Chicago actors.”  


The Haven is not just a story about domestic abuse; it’s a project with a mission to showcase Chicago’s amazing creative talent. The production features mostly femme talent on screen and behind the camera.
Inspired by ER, The Wire, Nurse Jackie, Orange is the New Black and other dramedies, The Haven presents the multiple facets of the domestic violence issue. The storytelling goal of The Haven is to provide a better understanding of domestic violence. 
While the creative teams wait for the perfect collaborators to help realize this project as a 1-hour scripted series, they’re following this strategy:
  1. Write a 1-hour pilot with a Chicago focus.
  2. Reformat the script/story into a web series.
  3. Shoot the cheapest episode first while being mindful to pay their mostly femme cast and crew equitable rates.
  4. Use that first episode to raise money for more episodes.
  5. Shoot more episodes and raise more money.
  6. Promote and network.
  7. Repeat steps 5 and 6 until they find the perfect collaborator(s) who will help them write and shoot The Haven as a hour-long television series
Help Mia and Elizabeth achieve their goals by watching and sharing this amazing Chicago-made web series. The Haven was included in Open Television’s Cycle 4 programming lineup. You can watch full episodes of The Haven at Weareo.tv/originals/the haven or TheHavenWeb.com/watch.
Categories
Fangirlin' Women In Film

Everyone in Hollywood is Blowing ‘Big Smoke’ – Women in Film

Leah. 'Big Smoke' web series by Laura E. Bray and Miriam Glaser.
Miriam Glaser as Leah. ‘Big Smoke’ is written and created by Laura E. Bray and Miriam Glaser.


Big Smoke is basically what my life would have been had things not worked out for me and Le Roommate. 

About four episodes into this 6-part comedic web series about selling a TV show, I realized that Big Smoke is basically what my life will be once I work up the courage to actually sell my scripts.
Here’s what Big Smoke creators Laura E. Bray and Miriam Glaser taught me about selling a television script.
You can’t sell a screenplay if you don’t shop your screenplay. There are plenty of people looking to buy, so shoot your shot.
Despite what LinkedIn profiles, IMDB pages, or company websites say, everyone is just blowing smoke and hoping for the planets to align. So, yes, go to that pitch meeting with a positive attitude. Don’t sweat it if things fall through.

Don’t cyber-stalk your ex or creative competition — especially not before your big pitch. That’s a self-sabotaging activity that can lead to getting drunk, binging on ice cream, and weird headspaces. Focus on yourself. 
Pivot and wing it. Memorize your TV pitch and be ready to reframe the story so that your audience can better relate. 
Take all feedback with a grain of salt. The female exec might be going through a nasty divorce. Their note to kill your male lead might have less to do with female empowerment and more about unsigned divorce docs. Get it together, Liz!

Beware of full disclosures. It means to prepare for some bullshit. David, I’m looking at you!
BIG SMOKE: Things aren’t going according to plan for Leah, a thirty-something unemployed screenwriter who finds herself back home in suburban Melbourne after a whirlwind New York romance ends in heartbreak. Given her fragile mental state, Leah should probably see a therapist. Instead, she’s wrangled six US network executives to listen to her tragic tale via Skype in the hope of transforming her misfortune into a hit TV show. Watch full episodes at BigSmokeWebSeries.com.
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Bookshelf Fangirlin'

8 Journaling Ideas for Self-Development – Iris Kirkland’s My Journal Guide Review

journaling ideas self development - iris kirkland


Many how-to guides showcase one or two ways to do an activity. Iris Kirkland’s straightforward journaling guide includes eight journaling ideas for self-development. Whether you’re short on time, not too chatty, or planning long-term goals, My Journal Guide presents several ways to get into journaling. Iris even explains how those who don’t consider themselves as writers can benefit from journaling.

Here’s why you should download Iris Kirkland’s FREE journaling guide: Journaling is a great way to gain clarity. You don’t have to do it forever. You don’t have to journal every aspect of your life.
“The more I journaled, the more I became clear about the kind of writer I want to be. To be honest, it’s helped me to figure out what kind of person I want to be too.” — Iris Kirkland, My Journal Guide
My two favorite exercises: the joy list and adding scriptures to written prayers.
I usually run to ice cream when I feel sad. Having a list of things that bring me joy without regret is brilliant. This joy list is key for not self-destructing.
Adding scriptures to prayer is a great way to memorize scripture by tying them to meaningful moments.
Writing my eulogy appears to be the most daunting journaling activity. Writing a summary of my life requires a high level of vulnerability, accepting mortality, reflecting on past failures, and potentially holding myself accountable. It also calls for strategic planning; am I selecting goals because society tells me to or because I really want it.
Oh yeah, you need courage to dream! Basically, I want to avoid it because it just might be the most powerful.
It’s been five months. I still haven’t found the courage to write my eulogy. My joy list has been deterring me from eating my feelings.
According to Iris, “writing has been more than a way to stay busy. It has been a discipline that is molding me into something I don’t quite have the words for yet. But whatever it is, it’s beautiful and I am enjoying the journey and I am taking a lot of notes.”
Click the link to read more about Iris’ journey and her inspiration for creating My Journal Guide
If you enjoy My Journal Guide you’ll also like Transforming Realities by Mia McCullough*. The 106-page book teaches how to overcome the difficulties and dilemmas of creative writing. I’ve referenced this book several times since first reading it in 2016.
IRIS KIRKLAND is a writer focused on God, people and business. She’s on a journey to creating a beautiful life with her words and faith. Sometimes that comes with challenges and other times with ease, but always with a lesson. She’s candid about it in My Journal. This monthly newsletter provides a sneak-peak to her thoughts, goals, and what’s new in Iris’ world.  
* I’m divesting from Amazon, so I’m no longer sharing their affiliate links. Support independent bookstore and authors by purchasing from IndieBound.org.This is not a sponsored or affiliate link. I earn no commission from sharing this resource.